Greenpeace spreads the word about Polish bees’ work

Can the work of bees be put into numbers? Apparently, yes. Greenpeace Poland has recently published a report on the impact bees and other pollinators have on Polish agriculture and economy. The matter is more serious than it appears at first glance.

Although we tend to associate them primarily with making honey, bees have immense impact on the entire world food production. Their key function in the ecosystem is pollination, i.e. moving pollen between organisms which enables plants to reproduce.

Greenpeace highlights the existence of a gap between the amount of agricultural production and the amount of bees and other insects that participate in the pollination process. The number of pollinators does not meet our needs. What is more, the diversity of the existing bee population is also going down.

According to the collected data, the work bees do is worth around 265 billion of euros globally. As for Poland, the amount was estimated at 4 billion PLN. The report presents the economic impact of pollination for each Polish voivodship separately. Polish bees are most busy in Masovian voivodship, where they add approximately 1.3 billion PLN to the economy.

Taking into consideration the large role the production of apples, sour cherries or raspberries plays in Poland’s economy, disappearance of bees would cause terrible damage to the economy. The country is one of the biggest EU producers of fruit and vegetables. Our food export in 2014 exceeded 21 billion euro.

Greenpeace points to the problem of dwindling numbers of bees in Poland and all across the globe. To put it bluntly, bees are in danger of dying out. According to the report, half of Poland’s bee species may become extinct.

The reason for this is increased use of pesticides and herbicides. They contain toxins that are harmful to bees and cause their population to shrink. The sales of these products are on the rise. In 2013, Polish farmers bought 38 percent more pesticides than in 2005.

The environmental organization stresses the need to introduce legal provisions limiting the use of chemicals in agriculture, especially these affecting pollinating insects. Greenpeace calls for more support for organic farming and further research into the functioning of bees and other animals. Biodiversity is something that should be promoted as well.

The report is the first publication of this kind regarding Poland. The authors want the people to realize how big the role of bees is to the country’s agriculture and economy.